Fact Sheets : Breastfeeding - Baby's Best Nutrition

Breastfeeding is by far the best and most natural way to feed your baby. Aside from promoting maternal infant bonding, breast milk offers many other advantages; these include protection against intestinal, ear and other infections. In addition, breast milk is made up of easily digestible protein, fat and iron which your child's intestines can easily absorb. Mothers are encouraged to breast feed their baby for as long as possible and wherever they may be including public places.. an issue of controversy lately.

Here are some important breastfeeding facts:

  • Many new breastfeeding mothers wonder if their baby is getting enough milk. It may seem at first that your baby is hardly nursing at all. But rest assured that it's normal for your baby not to drink a lot during the first few days after birth, as she doesn't yet need much milk. By the 3rd or 4th day, your breasts will begin to produce more milk and your baby will also start to drink more.
     
  • Once your baby has begun to feed more be sure to give her both breasts and empty at least one at each feeding. It takes at least 10 minutes to empty a breast. Your baby will need to feed at least 8 to 12 times in 24 hours, and shouldn't go more than 3 hours during the day, or 5 hours at night without a feeding. If she doesn't demand a feeding during this time, you may need to encourage her to nurse.
     
  • Breastfed newborns will have anywhere from 1 to 12 bowel movements each day. They tend to eat more often and have more bowel movements than bottle-fed babies.
     
  • One simple way to knowing if baby is drinking enough is to count the number of wet diapers. Usually 6 to 8 wet diapers a day is a sign that a baby is drinking enough. The most accurate way to be sure that your baby is getting enough milk is by the following the weight gain; on average, during the first 3 months of life babies gain about 2 lbs., or 1 kilogram, per month. This equals about one ounce per day. Between the third and sixth months, babies gain about half that amount during the first 3 months or about half an ounce a day. In general, babies weigh double their birth weight by about 4 months.